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JNU students’ union president in custody over sedition charge

Protest at JNU

New Delhi, Feb 12: Jawaharlal Nehru University Students’ Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested in a case of sedition and criminal conspiracy for holding an anti-national event on the university premises, was Friday remanded in three-day police custody by a Delhi court.

The police told the court that Kanhaiya was also required to be interrogated for the purpose of identification of other accused seen shouting “anti-national” slogans during the event organised on the JNU campus February 9.
The police also placed on record a CD of the event that the judge played inside the court room on a computer.
Kanhaiya told the court that he was neither shouting any slogan nor saying anything against the integrity of the country and said he had rushed to the spot only to prevent a clash between ABVP workers and students organising the event. He claimed in the court that this was a politically-motivated case and he was being framed by the police as he had defeated the ABVP candidate in the presidential elections of the JNU students’ union.
He told the court that he did not endorse the slogans against India in any manner and has full faith in the Constitution of the country. “I dissociate myself from the slogans that were shouted in the event. I have full faith in the Constitution of the country,” Kanhaiya told the court. PTI

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Pachauri goes on leave, Chawla new chairman

New Delhi: RK Pachauri was Friday virtually shut out of TERI when he was nudged to go on leave from it even as its chairman BV Sreekantan resigned in the midst of mounting outrage over elevation of the environmentalist facing sexual harassment allegations.

Former Competition Commission chief Ashok Chawla was appointed the chairman of the organisation. Chawla disclosed that an external ombudsman will be appointed to go into any complaints of sexual harassment in future.
The former TERI director general continued to face heat as women activists protested outside TERI office, demanding his sacking from the organisation.
Pachauri, who went on leave Thurs­day from TERI University after stude­nts refused to receive degrees from him, Friday went on leave from the organisation and its governing council.
“RK Pachauri, who had been at the head of the institute since 1982 will be on leave from TERI, TERI Governing Council, and TERI University till this is reviewed by the governing council given the subjudice nature of the matter,” TERI said in a statement after meeting of the governing council which discussed the roles, responsibilities and leadership of the organisation.
TERI said the organisation looks forward to leadership of 65-year-old Chawla who was also a Union finance secretary, and inducted the new director general Ajay Mathur as a member of the council. Mathur will operate with full executive powers, a move that will strip Pachauri of any executive powers he may have enjoyed when he was appointed executive vice chairman earlier this week. PTI

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‘India on Qaeda radar after 26/11’

Major Iqbal told me that I should recruit some employee of BARC who would give us classified information and would be ready to work for the ISI
David Coleman Headley

: Pakistani-American terrorist David Coleman Headley Friday said al-Qaeda was in touch with him to attack Delhi’s National Defence College (NDC) and unravelled the plot by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Pakistan spy agency ISI to target Mumbai airport, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and the naval air station here.

Headley also told Special Judge GA Sanap via video-link from the US that he attempted to develop close relations with a Shiv Sena member as he thought LeT would be interested in future to either attack the Shiv Sena Bhawan here or assassinate its head (the late Bal Thackeray).
Continuing his deposition for the fourth day, Headley claimed he discouraged LeT about the naval air station and Siddhivinayak temple as targets for the attack as they were heavily guarded.
“Major Iqbal expressed disapproval of certain areas I had recced as targets. I felt that Major Iqbal was unhappy because Mumbai airport was not selected and included as one of the targets for the 26/11 attack,” he said.
Headley testified in detail on how al-Qaeda was also interested in carrying out attacks in India after 26/11 strike. “After the 26/11 terror attack, I met Ilyas Kashmiri (of al-Qaeda) in February 2009 and he asked me to visit India again as they were also interested in carrying out terrorist activities in India. He mentioned a few places like the NDC, which was their primary target,” he said.
The Pakistani-American terrorist also said NDC was a high-value target as it housed senior military officers, from Brigadier to General rank.
“Abdul Rehman Pasha (Al-Qaeda member) said that if this attack is successful then we would be able to kill more Brigadiers and Generals than any killed in the wars between India and Pakistan in the past,” said the 55-year-old who recently turned approver in the 26/11 terror attacks case.
Headley said he had videographed BARC at Trombay in Mumbai in July 2008 and that LeT had asked him to recruit some employee of BARC who would work for ISI. “I also visited and videographed BARC. Major Iqbal told me that in some future date I should recruit some employee of BARC who would give us classified information and would be ready to work for the ISI,” he said, adding that he had handed over the video to Sajid Mir and Major Iqbal.  PTI

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Apex court gives relief to Gandhis in Herald case

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Friday provided relief to Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul, giving them exemption from personal appearance in the trial court in the National Herald case and expunging certain observations of the High Court.

The apex court, however, refused to interfere with criminal proceedings before the lower court.
The Supreme Court allowed the plea of the Gandhis for exemption from personal appearance before the trial court, which is scheduled to take up the matter February 20, but said it would be open to the magistrate at any stage to seek their personal appearance as and when required.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, who is the complainant in the case, contested the plea for exemption from appearance. However, a bench comprising justices JS Khehar and C Nagappan said that “in the peculiar facts and circumstances of this case and the position occupied by the petitioners, we are of the view that the presence of the petitioners before the trial court would cause more inconvenience than convenience”.
“Petitioners shall be exempted from personal appearance and it is needless to say that it will be open for the trial court to seek their presence at any stage if and when their presence is required,” the court said.
“So far as determination by the Delhi High Court in rejecting the prayer for quashing the proceedings against the petitioner, we do not find justification for interfering with it,” the court said. PNN

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